Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stormed the port city of Apapa in Lagos on Saturday and said that the Federal Government will do everything within its powers to end the perennial gridlock in the area.
Osinbajo, who visited Apapa to inspect the level of work done so far on the Lilypond Transit Truck Park in company of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the government was committed to building more ports across the country to ease the congestion on Lagos port access roads.
The Vice President said, “The Mile 2 end is the axis where we think that there is difficulties. But we think that in the next couple of days, it will be resolved, especially with the opening of the Tin Can Island trailer parks and the palliative work that is ongoing all the way to Mile 2, which Hi-tech is handling and we should be able to resolve that congestion at the Mile 2 end.”
Osinbajo said that the route to the Apapa port had been cleared, and that there was the need to understand that there were short term and mid to long term solutions.
“One of the mid-to-long term measures is to decongest the cargo traffic coming into the port. We need to understand that this is a port that was designed to take 34 million metric tonnes but is currently taking over 80 million. With this, it is obvious that there is need to find alternative quickly.
“And to expand, where that is possible, of course. The Lekki Port is an ongoing project, which will be a great help when completed because it will support the Apapa and Tin Can ports. Also, we are dredging the Warri Port, which are aimed towards decongesting the traffic into an out of the Apapa and Tin Can ports,” he said.
Osinbajo also said that the Lagos-Kano rail, which is starting from the Apapa ports, will also ease the road congestion.
“So, we expect that we should be able to get cargo out of the Apapa port using the rail than to take cargo out of the port using the hinterlands and some are using badges at the moment. So, I can tell you that there are different approaches towards getting better movement in and out of Apapa.
“This is a very busy port which is a signpost to the fact that the country is a very busy place for commerce. So, traffic is bound to increase and we think that we will be ahead of the issues that could further arise with the way we are going,” he said.